Chinese scientists have created the most detailed map of the moon to date. It took them 10 years and involved hundreds of researchers. The new map will be a boon for lunar exploration and for anyone who simply wants to study our natural satellite in more detail.
Until now, the USGS map of the moon has been the norm. But this map has a resolution of 1:5,000,000. The new map replaces the one with a resolution of 1:2,500,000.
Chinese scientists’ new map is also based on the latest findings on the moon. China began its lunar exploration program in 2004 and has sent its own orbiters, landers and rovers there. These missions collected data that fed into the map.
The Institute of Geochemistry of the Chinese Academy of Sciences led the project, and other Chinese institutions participated. The map shows 12,341 impact craters, 81 impact basins, 17 rock types and 14 structure types.
It’s hard to overstate how detailed the map is. The more you zoom in, the more detail there is.
Other moon maps were created with data from space nations, and while they were effective, there were different standards and capabilities behind all of that data. But this card is built entirely to the same standard.
The researchers started by dividing the moon into 30 quadrilaterals. Each of the quadrangles was mapped to the same standards and the quadrangles were assembled into a single map. Data for the map comes from China’s own lunar program and exploration by other space nations. The result is a synthesis of knowledge acquired over decades.
“As syntheses of current knowledge of lunar geology and evolutionary history, lunar geological maps are fundamental resources in scientific research, exploration planning, and landing site selection,” indicates the document presenting the map.
This map is a fantastic resource for anyone who wants to understand the Moon in more detail. It is downloadable at the reference below, but beware! The file is 150MB.
Researchers tapped again for NASA’s moon mission, ready to explore mysterious domes
The 1:2,500,000 scale geological map of the global Moon. dx.doi.org/10.12176/03.99.02797
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Quote: Geological map of the entire moon at 1:2,500,000 scale (June 15, 2022) Retrieved June 16, 2022 from https://phys.org/news/2022-06-geologic-entire-moon-scale.html
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